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The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Controversy

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ELDs Must Be Registered at FMCSA, Official Reminds Safety Inspectors

Transport Topics  /  August 9, 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. — Electronic logging devices need to be registered with the federal trucking regulatory agency in order to be valid, an agency official reminded law enforcement officials on Aug. 9.

“It’s not an ELD unless it’s listed on our website. That’s going to be part of what you do during an inspection; you’re going to verify that it is a registered ELD,” said Danielle Smith, a transportation specialist with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s passenger carrier division.

Smith was addressing road safety inspectors at the North American Inspectors Championship, hosted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

During her half-hour lecture, Smith reminded inspectors about ELDs’ data transfer procedures via wireless applications, email, Bluetooth devices or USB ports. She also noted carriers have to repair or replace malfunctioning ELDs within eight days of learning about problems with the devices.

The agency’s ELD rule takes effect Dec. 18. Its aim is to establish performance and design standards, as well as improve compliance with hours-of-service rules.

Marc Moncion, global director of safety, compliance and regulatory affairs with Fleet Complete, urged drivers to embrace ELDs. His firm’s ELDs are powered by BigRoad.

“Don’t fear the technology because the technology is not Big Brother,” Moncion told Transport Topics. “It’s geared to leverage efficiencies.”

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'Too expensive, unproven, untrustworthy': Groups push for ELD delay

Aaron Marsh, Fleet Owner  /  September 27, 2017

The most polarizing topic in trucking today — electronic logging devices, or ELDs — isn't losing any steam.

With the deadline less than 12 weeks away for most commercial truck drivers to be using ELDs in recording their hours of service, groups representing owner-operators, small trucking companies, agricultural and livestock trucking and others reiterated their calls today for a delay.

The delays they're seeking would push the ELD mandate's current Dec. 18, 2017 deadline out another one or two years, appealing either to Congress and President Trump or the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT).

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) led a 31-organization coalition in calling for passage of a bill U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) introduced back in July — the ELD Extension Act of 2017 (HR 3282) — that would postpone the ELD implementation deadline till December 2019.

"The electronic logging device mandate is written so broadly that it has far-reaching implications well beyond the traditional trucking industry," said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.

The coalition argued the mandate should be delayed until the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) addresses "numerous unresolved issues identified by impacted stakeholders." Those include self-certification of ELDs, which the coalition finds unreliable; potential connectivity problems in some areas or cybersecurity vulnerabilities with ELDs; and the ability of law enforcement officers to access ELD data.

OOIDA also contends that requiring ELDs on commercial vehicles does not advance safety, arguing that the devices "are no more reliable than paper logbooks for recording compliance with hours-of-service regulations."

Not ready

The Agricultural Retailers Assn. (ARA), which is part of the coalition supporting HR 3282, also directly asked DOT and the Trump administration to delay the coming December deadline for using ELDs for a year.

"ARA is concerned that many agribusinesses are not, and will not be, fully prepared to meet the Dec. 18, 2017, compliance deadline," said Richard Gupton, senior vice president of public policy and counsel for ARA. "Moreover, ELD manufacturers may not be able to accommodate existing Hours of Service exemptions currently being utilized by agricultural retailers and distributors."

ARA's arguments echo those of the coalition. The group pointed to ELD self-certification, noting that FMCSA itself is not reviewing and certifying the devices but rather relying on the ELD manufacturers to do so.

Yet that hasn't stopped manufacturers from blurring that fact in advertising. "There are manufacturers in the marketplace claiming their ELD product is 'FMCSA-certified'," ARA stated. The group called for FMCSA to establish "a similarly stringent process" to that by which the agency authorizes a physician or other health care practitioner to be a Certified Medical Examiner for commercial drivers.

ARA also suggested that the costs of ELDs will be too great, including the initial price tag for the devices as well as potential ongoing costs such as maintenance or service contracts with ELD providers or driver training.

Those costs amount to "an unnecessary financial burden" for the trucking industry, which ARA said already is facing "a soft economy, lagging commodity prices and the massive economic losses following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as well as other weather-related disasters."

Yin and Yang

Meanwhile, responding to the ARA and coalition calls for an ELD mandate delay, the Trucking Alliance — a.k.a. the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, an organization supported by some key players in the ELD industry and a number of larger carriers — essentially called the groups' anti-ELD arguments hogwash.

"Electronic logging devices, or ELDs, will unquestionably reduce truck driver fatigue. ELDs will reduce large truck accidents on our nation's highways. ELDs will make it easier for law enforcement to verify how many hours a driver has been behind the wheel," contended Lane Kidd, managing director of the Trucking Alliance.  

"Further, Congress has voted numerous times and as recently as a few days ago to require ELDs," Kidd added. "The federal courts have upheld their congressional action. Yet OOIDA and other groups continue to ignore these facts, suggesting the rule may not happen, and are now taking their members perilously close to having their trucks taken out of service for not installing them."

Regardless of your opinion on ELDs, there's evidence this issue is inching closer and closer to falling off a cliff.

Just this week at TU Automotive's Connected Fleets conference in Atlanta, for instance, a study of 529 U.S. fleet operators released by C.J. Driscoll & Associates found there's a long ways to go yet when it comes to ELDs. A solid majority — 60% — of commercial fleets included in the study were still using paper logs to monitor drivers' hours of service.

In the same study, not a single one of the respondent owner-operators, the demographic perhaps most opposed to ELDs, had implemented an ELD or planned to do so by Dec. 18. 

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Truckers in Pennsylvania Fight Regulations on Their Rigs

Transport Topics  /  October 2, 2017

One of the biggest appeals to driving a truck, Zoranda Newman said, is the beauty of the open road, but she said government regulations are beginning to block the view.

“What other job can you get paid to travel the country?” Newman, 54, asked Saturday afternoon. “The freedom (of trucking) appealed to me, but that is going the way of the dodo bird.”

Newman was among dozens of truckers who made a pit stop at the Reading Fairgrounds in Bern Township, Pa., on the way to Washington to protest regulations slated to come later this year.

The Big Rig Rendezvous, the three-day rally of commercial drivers at the fairgrounds, welcomed drivers to connect and learn more about upcoming federal regulations that some say infringe on their rights and will hurt the economy.

About 30 rigs were parked at the fairgrounds on Sept. 30 with more expected to arrive all weekend. The rally wraps up Oct. 2, then drivers are either headed home or to Washington in a protest that many are calling Operation Black and Blue.

Federal regulations will change Dec. 18 and force drivers to start using electronic logging devices (ELDs), which will log and restrict how long drivers can work, when they can stop and how long they must rest.

“I really believe my rights are being violated,” Newman said. “I live in that truck; its my home. How would you like if someone came in and said you have to be on camera 24 hours a day and tell you when to sleep, when to eat and when to work?”

Driver Bryan Levernier, one of the organizers of the event, said the electronic logging devices will have negative repercussions on drivers’ ability to deliver goods quickly and added costs will fall on the consumer.

The electronic logging device is only one issue, according to Levernier.

“Every guy here has a humongous bull’s-eye on the back of his trailer,” Levernier, 66, of Bristol, Wis., said. “We feel like a money pit.”

Levernier said truckers also face a shortage of safe, convenient parking areas and are subject to numerous inspections, which can result in hefty fines.

Levernier said some drivers have no problem with regulations such as the electronic logging device, but he just wants a choice.

Participants in the rally filled their days with group discussions, crafting a “Truckers Bill of Rights,” and selecting board members for the United Motor Carriers Council.

Levernier hopes taking the rally to the nation’s capital will help prevent regulations from taking effect, he said.

“We are tired of writing letters,” Levernier said. “You’re going to see our faces and pray to God it makes a difference.”

The electronic logging device was adopted in December 2015 by the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration before President Donald Trump’s election. His administration has not targeted it for repeal. However, there are efforts in Congress to delay or repeal the measure.

Electronic logging devices range from an annualized price of $165 to $832, with the most popular device used today priced at $495 per truck, according to eldfacts.com

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ELDs will put supply chains in a vise. And maybe that’s a good thing.

Sean Kilcarr, Fleet Owner  /  October 3, 2017

For as long as I’ve covered both the trucking and logistics industries, they’ve functioned under a freight philosophy called “just-in-time” delivery or “JIT” for short.

Put simply, JIT is an inventory strategy companies employ to increase efficiency and decrease waste by receiving goods only as they are needed in the production process, thereby reducing inventory costs.

So how does trucking and the now infamous electronic logging device (ELD) mandate play into this JIT philosophy? In short, JIT delivery costs should increase significantly once the ELD mandate hits, simply because truckers will no longer be able to “bend” their operational hours to meet the tight freight scheduling demands of JIT-based supply chains – which, frankly, describes almost all supply chains now.

Here’s the combination of trucking, ELD, and freight demand factors that will create something of a “Bermuda Triangle” for shippers from here on out:

  • Trucking moved roughly 10.42 billion tons of freight last year; some 70.6% of all tonnage by mode in North America;

  • Trucking is an industry made up of small business: 91% of all trucking companies operate six trucks or fewer while 97.3% of them operate 20 trucks or fewer;

  • There is a growing shortage of truck drivers, a shortage that will reach 239,000 in five years if current trends persist;

  • Most industry analysts expect the ELD mandate will reduce trucking capacity by 3% to 5% as motor carriers and drivers exit the industry rather than comply with the new electronic logging rule;

  • Trucking capacity is now under further pressure due to the freight demand being spurred in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma – storms that also removed a lot of trucking capacity from the overall supply chain system.

John Larkin – managing director and head of transportation capital markets research for Stifel Capital Markets – added some further depth to that thesis in a presentation he made last month at an Iowa Motor Truck Association meeting.

“These storms which attacked South Texas and Florida really have created a severe tightening of supply and demand [and] may have accelerated the tightening of supply and demand about six months,” he explained.

“We were thinking [that tightening] really wouldn’t become evident until early next year when we had the at least partial impact of the ELD being factored into the equation,” Larkin noted.

“[But] here we are; there aren’t enough trucks, turned-down loads are way up, spot rates are astronomical in some parts of the country, [and] trucks are flocking to the high rates – which [is] leaving other parts of the country with too few trucks,” he pointed out. “I think this is the wakeup call that shippers needed, especially those that were so harsh on everyone back in 2015 and 2016.”

Larkin bluntly addressed what he dubbed “Neanderthal practices” on the part of shippers in the not-so-recent past and illustrated how that behavior is now starting to come home to roost.

“A couple of people sent me letters from shippers at that time which said, ’We’re so grateful for all the great service you’ve provided to us over the years; however, we’re notifying you that we’re going to take our [freight] prices down 10% effective the Monday after next. If you’re willing to absorb that price discount that’s great, we’d be happy to have you in our carrier mix; if not we’ll put your business out to bid and you may win some of that, you may lose all of it. The likelihood of you winning it all back is zero,’” he noted in his remarks.

“That’s pretty harsh,” Larkin stressed. “That’s treatment of somebody who’s supposed to be your partner and I think some of those folks are going to see the other end of that here very shortly. It’s hard to feel too sorry for them.”

So what are the factors that are going to make shippers feel so “sorry”? For starters, spot rates are spiking fast, Larkin said, initially due to the hurricane recovery efforts – bringing in water and other needed supplies to folks who have been forced out of their homes.

“Then you’ll see the next wave of rebuilding ... particularly of South Texas,” he said. “There’s a lot of carpeting, a lot of electronics, a lot of furniture, a lot of wall board that needs to be replaced and all that has to be moved in over the next 12 to 18 months.”

It’s not going to be something that’s fixed immediately, he added. “It’s going to have a nice tail to it [and] you have some of the same problems down in Florida. Puerto Rico had a direct hit [from Hurricane Maria] and there’s going to be a lot of material moving down there as well,” Larkin pointed out.

So that is part one – hefty freight demand, pretty much scaling up for a year to a year and half.

Now for part two: the impact of the ELD mandate on JIT delivery schedules.

First of all, Larkin warned that all the talk about “soft enforcement” regarding ELD or related systems after the December 18 compliance deadline isn’t as “soft” as many truckers might believe. “You’re still going to be dinged on your CSA [Compliance Safety Accountability] score if you don’t have one and you’re still going to be fined,” he explained. “The only thing that won’t happen is you won’t be put out of service until there’s a violation on April 1 or later.”

That’s going to have some impact Larkin believes, but more regarding the elimination of what he calls “marginal carriers” than it will be on reduced productivity of those that don’t have ELDs now.

And here comes the kicker, as Larkin sees it: “The way some small carriers have competed is to cheat. People didn’t use to like to use the word cheat, but that’s essentially what they’re doing. They’re running 14 hours when they’re supposed to be running 11 hours.”

He said that brokers give such carriers freight that gets hauled between Chicago to New York in one day – an 800 mile length of haul that you cannot make in 11 hours unless your average speed is 87 miles per hour.

“I don’t think the New York State Police would allow you to do that on the New York State Thruway,” Larkin stressed.

Thus the time required to legally carry freight shipments by truck is going to expand – and thus it will take longer and cost more to conduct such shipments. And that is not a bad thing, especially if the end result is a driver that is getting paid more and also operating their rig more safely at slower speeds.

There’s also another regulatory hurdle to consider in all of this, Larkin added: the national drug/alcohol database or “clearinghouse” that is so far on track for implementation in early 2020.

“That will be a mechanism to see if an applicant failed a drug test somewhere else; whether he [or she] has any DUIs or DWIs. That is, for most carriers, a non-starter [and] for most insurance companies a nonstarter,” he explained.

“Some people think this rule here will have a bigger effect than ELDs with all the substance abuse that we have in this country – which is another sad story maybe for another day,” Larkin noted.

That is very true – with an out-of-control opioid crisis affecting large swaths of the nation, it’s not a stretch to realize that the labor pool from which truck drivers are being hired is being affected.

All in all, it adds up to a need to change our supply chain practices; placing a higher value on the services truckers large and small provide.

This is a reckoning that is long overdue.

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FMSCA to Exempt Short-Term Truck Rentals from ELD Rule

Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT)  /  October 10, 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is expected to announce on Oct. 11 that it will grant an exemption from being required to use an electronic logging device to “all drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles rented for eight days or less, regardless of reason.”

The exemption will apply to the ELD mandate that kicks in on Dec. 18 — just 10 weeks away.

FMCSA made it clear that drivers who will operate under this short-term rental exemption will remain subject to the standard hours-of-service limits and so will have to maintain a paper record of duty status (RODS) if required, and maintain a copy of the rental agreement on the vehicle.

The exemption results from a petition filed with the agency by the Truck Renting and Leasing Association.

FMCSA pointed out that TRALA, in its petition, was “concerned about the unintended technical and operational consequences that will unfairly and adversely affect short-term rental vehicles,” given that it will be unlikely that most of the ELDs used by these drivers will able to communicate properly with a rental company’s telematics platform.

“TRALA states that while FMCSA recognized during the rulemaking process these issues associated with a lack of interoperability among ELD systems, and required certain technical specifications in the final rule, the agency stopped short of requiring full interoperability among ELDs," FMCSA stated in its notice to be published in the Federal Register.

In an Oct. 10 news release on the petition being granted, TRALA emphasized that the exemption will not apply to drivers of rental vehicles operating for longer than eight days. They will still have to comply with the new ELD rule.

TRALA President and CEO Jake Jacoby met with FMCSA on Oct. 5 at their request to explain the agency's decision. “While TRALA had the support of all its members, the vast majority of the trucking industry, as well as the diverse customer base that utilizes rental trucks, the agency explained that they had to couple that with a strong desire to make sure the mandate could be enforceable and to not deviate too much from a congressional directive,” the association advised.

TRALA’s petition had actually sought an exemption that would cover the drivers of trucks rented for 30 days or less. The association said that while it “regrets” that FMSCA went with only an eight-day exemption, it expects the shorter period to be allowed still “will help alleviate some problems that would have existed had TRALA's petition been denied outright – especially for addressing breakdowns.”

The key problems TRALA had envisioned might result from the ELD rule are “administrative and logistical in nature, which FMCSA has acknowledged. During the meeting on Oct. 5, FMCSA told TRALA that the ELD mandate would allow drivers to combine HOS records from their own ELD platform with the one provided by a truck rental company even if they are different systems. Unfortunately, this likely would result in every driver having to manually log his/her HOS information by combining two systems.

"This could cause significant loss of time and would require drivers to learn a whole new ELD operating system all to fulfill HOS reporting for short-tern rentals,” the association continued.

TRALA added that it "believes these hurdles fly in the face of the Trump administration's goal of having fewer harmful regulations and to have those regulations that are implemented be as efficient as possible.”

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FMCSA Grants UPS Several ELD Exemptions

Transport Topics  /  October 19, 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will grant UPS Inc. temporary exemption from parts of the upcoming electronic logging device mandate, according to a document scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on Oct. 20.

The federal ELD rule, published in December 2015, requires motor carriers who currently are required to maintain paper records of duty status to start using ELDs for hours-of-service compliance. The mandate takes effect Dec. 18.

FMCSA granted UPS several five-year exemptions in four chief areas, namely the use of automatic onboard recording devices during the “phase-in” process, as well as data collection methods for drivers who log out of an ELD while outside a vehicle, drivers who make yard moves and nondriver employees who operate vehicles.

FMCSA published notice of UPS’ application for exemption June 9. UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.

UPS requested continued use of the AOBRDs as the company converts its fleet to ELDs on a site-by-site basis. According to the company’s application, UPS oversees 2,800 tractors at 35 sites. Moreover, the company plans to purchase 1,530 new tractors in 2018.

FMCSA granted the request, as the agency’s safety regulations state “a motor carrier that installs and requires a driver to use an automatic onboard recording device before December 18, 2017, may continue to use the compliant automatic oboard recording device no later than December 16, 2019.”

However, the agency cautioned that if UPS replaces fleet vehicles, the company must install AOBRDs that were used in previous truck rather than purchase new ones.

FMCSA also granted a request for truck operators who use portable, driver-based ELDs. The application states that UPS drivers, on the whole, are paid by the hour and punch into work at UPS facilities, rather than in a vehicle. Because UPS drivers perform duties outside of their vehicles, such as attending meetings and walking to dispatch centers, workers technically are “on the job,” even when they are not behind the wheel of their trucks.

“In a typical UPS location, UPS drivers spend an average of 24 minutes prior to entering the vehicle and 22 minutes after exiting the vehicle on the clock,” UPS’ application states. “UPS cannot both comply with the requirement that an ELD record tractor data when a driver logs in or out (or otherwise changes duty status while outside of the vehicle) and also comply with our bargaining unit contract and pay guidelines for our drivers.”

FMCSA agreed with UPS, stating that “it is not practicable” for an ELD to automatically record data when an authorized user logs into or out of an ELD if the device is not synchronized with the electronic control module in the vehicle.

UPS also requested an exemption that would allow its drivers to select “yard move” status for runs that occur on company grounds and remain in that status even if the vehicle’s ignition is cycled off and back on.

In its application, the company stated that the average UPS records-of-duty-status driver completes a minimum of nine yard moves per day, and given that a driver is required to manually enter the beginning and end of each yard move on the ELD, a driver could be required to enter manual changes of duty status as many as 20 times in an hour.

FMCSA stated that permitting all motor carriers to configure ELDs with a “yard-move” mode that does not require a driver to re-input yard move status every time the tractor is powered off will ensure that drivers operating under this status will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be obtained under the regulation.

The final exemption applies to workers, such as washers and fuel employees, who operate UPS trucks on copany property for reasons other than delivering freight. Specifically, UPS proposed that vehicle movements of less than 1 mile by wash and fuel employees, entirely on UPS property, be annotated on an ELD as “on property – other.” UPS stated that these miles could easily be identified using geofencing and time-card information for road drivers and other employees.

FMCSA granted the request because these employees do not operate trucks on public roads and are not subject to hours-of-service regulations.

“The agency has determined that granting these temporary exemptions would not have an adverse impact on safety, and that a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation would be maintained,” FMCSA said in its Federal Register notice.

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That’s a bunch of bs. 1) We use ELD’s for our time clocks even though we have meetings to attend, trucks to wash and even days working in the shop. So that argument is bunk. 

2)why would the fmcsa not allow you to put a new ELD in a new truck?

3) the last paragraph says the fmcsa sees no adverse affect on safety while granting these exemptions. So why are the rest of us unsafe if we don’t comply?

just shows you that if your pockets are deep enough to keep well paid lobbyists on your side you can get special treatment. 

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KSB,this hours of service endless changing,rearranging of same etc,etc is ostensibly for the purpose of saving the lives of everyone who uses the highway system, right? I just recalled a few years ago that scientists developed a method for determining the wakefulness and alertness of a driver by installing a sensor in the truck cab that could monitor a drivers mental and physical condition by the the nodding of his head,blinking of his eyes and so forth! I can see this as a way to eliminate all the hours of service b.s.!  The experiment also potentially would include a buzzer to alert the driver that after several warnings, the truck would shut off! On paper this sounds good,but having driven like all of us "in the real world" many problems exist! Parking may be the first in congested areas with few truck stops like new England ,the east coast, and parts of Florida! A couple of other problems are the circadian rhythm situation which makes almost every human sleepy in the wee hours of the morning,no matter how many hours they've slept!,and the fact that each person's physical condition can affect their ability to stay awake! Then there are the political factors, do the companies really want a driver to pull over if his sleepiness will affect delivery time!😁 The endless "safety versus profitability" issue! Opinions please!

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I have a question, there appear to be older trucks that lack the technology to permit the installation of an electronic logging device, I see used trucks on Craigslist that are promoted as "don't require electronic logs,"so apparently you can avoid electronic logs if you have a truck built before a certain year? So the eld at this point requires a newer truck to work right? Two things come to mind if this is true The 5yr rule that many companies inflict on their contractors will require them to use electronic logs! Also I can see a future eld being designed which will work in any truck! The old Overdrive Magazine slogan applies " always changing,never changing"😁

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4 hours ago, BillyT said:

I have a question, there appear to be older trucks that lack the technology to permit the installation of an electronic logging device, I see used trucks on Craigslist that are promoted as "don't require electronic logs,"so apparently you can avoid electronic logs if you have a truck built before a certain year? So the eld at this point requires a newer truck to work right? Two things come to mind if this is true The 5yr rule that many companies inflict on their contractors will require them to use electronic logs! Also I can see a future eld being designed which will work in any truck! The old Overdrive Magazine slogan applies " always changing,never changing"😁

There is a cutoff date for the eld required to be used in a truck. I don’t see why though. The ELD’s run off of gps so they know your speed, where you’re at etc. the only thing the older trucks can’t do is tie the eld into the ecm but that shouldn’t make any difference since the eld doesnt need the ecm to track movement which triggers duty status change. 

Edited by HeavyGunner

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Hvy gunner, thanks for the reply! I wonder if the satellite based eld will be consistently accurate! I'm thinking if a driver has an accident that is obviously not his fault with injuries or death, and the eld says he is out of hours when he is not in reality!  The Qualcomm which most otr drivers use is satellite based and is about 98 or 99 percent accurate but that 1percent could put a driver in jail! There are billboards all over the interstate and ads on tv "have an accident with a big truck call us" As I'm sure you are aware we live in an "anti truck society" no trucking company wants to put their fate in the hands of a jury and will almost always settle out of court even if the driver is blameless! Remember when the cdl was going to replace all those reckless drivers with professionals!( insert laugh track)😁 and in only three weeks! Of training!

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Was sitting in a t.s many years ago and this stroke gets out of a shiny "large car" and comes over to me, "how many driving hours am I allowed to log" he asks me!😁

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30 minutes ago, BillyT said:

Hvy gunner, thanks for the reply! I wonder if the satellite based eld will be consistently accurate! I'm thinking if a driver has an accident that is obviously not his fault with injuries or death, and the eld says he is out of hours when he is not in reality!  The Qualcomm which most otr drivers use is satellite based and is about 98 or 99 percent accurate but that 1percent could put a driver in jail! There are billboards all over the interstate and ads on tv "have an accident with a big truck call us" As I'm sure you are aware we live in an "anti truck society" no trucking company wants to put their fate in the hands of a jury and will almost always settle out of court even if the driver is blameless! Remember when the cdl was going to replace all those reckless drivers with professionals!( insert laugh track)😁 and in only three weeks! Of training!

We have 2 separate gps’ in our trucks. One for the eld and the lynx drive cam has one that records your speed when an event triggers the camera. 

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Back in the early 80s when I was working on a masters degree I wrote a research proposal for an experimental psych course using one of the early Rockwell truck data recorders to detect fatigue. When we're sleepy our ability to maintain steady speed and keep a vehicle on a straight course deteriorates, and even with those ancient data loggers and some code it'd be easy to measure fatigue and tell the driver when it's time for sleep. With today's tech and the multitude of data a truck produces now you could almost predict with a smart phone App when the driver will fall asleep at the wheel and wake him up five minutes before. That makes logbooks obsolete, and ELDs are nothing but electronic logbooks that are a bit harder to cheat.

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Panel: ELDs don’t change HOS rules or enforcement

Sean Kilcarr, Fleet Owner  /  October 21, 2017

But data from electronic logging devices should encourage truckers to take a fresh look at productivity and efficiency issues.

ORLANDO. As the December 18 deadline for the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate to go into full effect, a panel discussion here at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) 2017 Management Conference & Exhibition (MC&E) sorted through a variety of issues and opportunities related to the technology.

Joe DeLorenzo, director of the office of compliance and enforcement at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), stressed that the “reason at the root of why we’re doing this” in terms of mandating ELDs is to improve compliance with hours of service (HOS) regulations.

“The biggest thing to remember is that it is really still about HOS enforcement; all we’re really doing is moving from paper logs to electronic records,” he said.

To that end, though, Collin Mooney – executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) – emphasized that HOS enforcement “does not change” and that inspectors will document “all ELD and HOS violations” starting December 18. They just won’t be placing trucks out of service for ELD violations until April 1 next year.

He stressed that the three and half month period between December 18 and April 1 won’t be a “soft enforcement” period – warnings and citations for ELD violations during roadside inspections will be issued.

That can have a major impact on its Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) scores, noted FMCSA’s DeLorenzo. “The tricky issue with CSA is that the program treats an inspection, an inspection with a warning, and an inspection with a violation all the same,” he explained – one of many inconsistencies within CSA noted in a report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) back in late June.

That’s also problematic as some industry surveys indicate many drivers and fleets haven’t adopted ELDs yet.

During a separate press event here at the conference, Wade Wilson, CEO of Pedigree Technologies, estimated that 2.8 million truck drivers do not have an ELD yet – that’s out of a population of 3.1 million commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders in the U.S.

CVSA’s Mooney also noted that all but two states have adopted the ELD rule into their statutes and that those remaining two are “on track” to have it done by December 18.

He added that a two-week “train the trainer” course for enforcement personnel regarding ELDs kicks off soon and thus Mooney expects inspectors will be ready by the December 18 deadline to properly enforce the mandate’s rules.

The panel addressed a wide range of other ELD details during the two-hour session:

  • ELDs are not required for pre-2000 model year trucks, but that “model year” designation is tied to the engine, not the chassis, FMCSA’s DeLorenzo noted. Thus a 2001 model year truck with a 1999 engine would be exempt.

  • Automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) – the technological precursor to ELDs – can continue to be used until December 16, 2019, and can be transferred to a new truck after the December 18 deadline this year only if that truck is a replacement unit, DeLorenzo said. AOBRDs cannot be installed in “new capacity” after December 18, he stressed.

  • Paper logs can currently be “annotated” to provide extra detail and that same “annotation” capability is present in the ELD specifications laid out by FMCSA, DeLorenzo noted. That becomes crucial when using the “adverse driving condition” part of the rule that allows for two extra hours of drive time in case of weather emergencies such as a sudden snow storm. “This would be the time to annotate an ELD entry,” he explained.

  • Personal conveyance is “optional” under the ELD rule, DeLorenzo said: “It’s based on a motor carrier’s decision whether or not to use it.” He added that GPS tracking is made less accurate when in “personal conveyance” mode, expanding from an accuracy of one mile to 10 miles to provide drivers more “privacy.”

  • One way to account for “unassigned miles” is to establish an “exempt driver” account for maintenance technicians and yard jockeys. “That way there are no ‘unassigned miles’ a driver must account for,” DeLorenzo noted.

  • There are as of now 135 self-certified devices on FMCSA’s ELD list. What happens if that certification gets revoked by the agency for non-compliance with its ELD specifications at some point down the road? “We plan to address that on a case-by-case basis,” DeLorenzo said.

On a separate note, he reiterated that the agency is still planning to move forward with a split-sleeper berth study announced back in June but has still not “decided on the specifics” of that study, though DeLorenzo said it would be “naturalistic” and “long term.”

Jim Ward, president and CEO of 400-truck TL carrier D.M. Bowman, shared his fleet’s five-year experience with electronic logs, noting that one reasons ELDs are such a contentious issue within the industry is because so many trucking companies are small businesses.

“Out of 537,000 registered motor carriers, 97% operate 20 trucks or less and 91% operate six trucks or less,” he explained. “That’s why this [ELD rule] has such a huge impact.”

Ward said D.M. Bowman switched over to AOBRDs in 2012 and noted that while productivity declined initially and that there was “pushback” against adoption of the devices, with “a handful” of drivers leaving as a result, “we’d have a mass exodus if we took them out of the trucks now.”

He noted that the way D.M. Bowman encourage AOBRD adoption was to make their use contingent on a driver getting a “new truck” and that the fleet is using the same process as it adopts ELDs, of which it is testing 50 units right now.

Ward added that the data gleaned from D.M. Bowman’s AOBRDs has helped it address productivity and efficiency issues with its customers; something he expects will continue as the fleet switches over to ELDs.

“Data tells the truth about what is going on; provides opportunity for conversation with shippers on carrier productivity and efficiency,” he said, noting that a white paper issued by J.B. Hunt Transportation Services two years ago showed that truck drivers only averaged about six and a half hours of actual driving every day.

“Our industry has matured quite well in terms of how we use data,” Ward stressed. “We have an opportunity to take that data [from ELDs] to get better as an industry.”

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ELD Mandate Enforcement Highlights ATA Educational Session

Deborah Lockridge, Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT)  /  October 20, 2017

ORLANDO — In a sometimes-lively educational session at the American Trucking Associations 2017 Management Conference & Exhibition Saturday, a panel of regulatory, enforcement and fleet personnel fielded questions on enforcement and other aspects of the electronic logging device mandate that goes into effect Dec. 18.

“In today’s environment, you cannot pick up a periodical or go through 10 emails without someone offering a webinar about the ELD mandate,” said Jim Ward, president and CEO of D.M. Bowman Inc., a 400-truck fleet that has been on electronic logs since 2013. Pointing out that the overwhelming majority of the country’s trucking operations are small fleets, “it is a huge impact on a number of small businesses.”

Joe DeLorenzo, director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement, went over some of the common questions, such as exemptions. But much of the discussion centered around what will happen at roadside come December.

Both DeLorenzo and Colin Mooney, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, stressed several times that the ELD rules do not change the underlying hours of service rules.

“A lot of folks are tying ELDs to the hours of service rules themselves,” Mooney observed. Many of the drivers and others objecting to the ELD mandate claim it will end the “flexibility” they currently have with paper logs. But in the eyes of the law, that “flexibility” is simply cheating.

“Enforcement’s ready to enforce the rules,” Mooney said. “All we're doing is moving from a paper to electronic format. However, for some it will be their first introduction to hours of compliance,” he noted, drawing a chuckle from the audience.

Enforcement issues

Mooney and DeLorenzo also wanted to clear up some confusion about the CVSA and FMCSA’s recent announcement that drivers will not be put out of service for violating the ELD rule until April 2018.

“A lot of people thought it meant ‘soft enforcement’” Mooney said. “We are not using that term at all. That is very subjective depending on who you’re talking to.” Come Dec. 18, he said, enforcement officials will be noting violations on inspection reports, which will go into the SMS database and affect carrier CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores.

DeLorenzo explained that the points system for CSA is not changing. If a driver does not have an ELD or grandfathered AOBRD, points will be charged as if he did not have a paper logbook. If you’ve exceeded the allowable hours, it’s the same violation as before. If the ELD data file pulls up on an enforcement official’s system with a notification that the truck was moving when the driver had logged sleeper berth time, that’s falsifying logs. “Think about an ELD as an electronic form of keeping hours of service,” DeLorenzo said. “Everything is pretty much the same. Each violation cited on an inspection report has a certain weight associated with it; if it's out of service, it gets a little more weight.”

In addition to the inspection report, enforcement officials may also opt to issue a verbal or written warning, or write a citation/ticket.

Although the press release said jurisdictions would have discretion on the level of enforcement, Mooney told the audience, “From what I'm hearing it's going to be pretty consistent across the board. We’re training the trainers at all the jurisdictions at the same time. I’ve been given no indication it will be done any other way.”

Mooney also addressed a recent petition from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association asking for a delay in the implementation of the rule, claiming that many states did not have the proper legislation in place to be able to legally enforce the federal rule. “We have canvassed all of our states and there’s only a couple that are still in the process of going though the legislative process, and both are on track to have that in place by Dec. 18.”

Data transfer

Mooney said the agency is embarking on a train-the-trailer program next week to educate state enforcement about the data transfer process — an area that has caused some confusion, especially since the agency did not have a process in place for vendors to test their data files until fairly recently.

On its website, the FMCSA has a data vile validator tool. Although it was designed for ELD vendors to check their data files, DeLorenzo noted that some fleets have been using it to test their ELD files as well.

He also said that while the ELD rules allow for several different options for that file transfer, including email, web transfer, Bluetooth and USB, “I will tell you that in the overwhelming majority of cases, we're going to be looking at web services as the way that data is transferred.” The web transfer system just went live a few days ago and live testing of the data transfer will be occurring in the coming weeks.

The enforcement official will give the driver his code, which the driver enters into the appropriate field on the ELD screen, and that data transfers to the officer’s device. It does not automatically note violations, but it does flag problem areas for the officer for further investigation.

If the inspection is taking place in an area with poor cellular coverage, the backup options are for the driver to print out the log, or more likely, show the enforcement officer the display. This has caused some concern about officers having to climb up into cabs or walking away with the ELD device, but DeLorenzo said, “i tell people all the time that there’s nothing that says you have to hand the display over to the officer and let them walk away with it. This is what we’re telling our folks — have the driver step out of the vehicle with their display, and hold the display for the law enforcement officer. That to me is the common sense approach.”

Ward added another bit of common-sense advice based on his fleet’s experience: “Make sure you have seven days of paper logs in the truck and the documents you're supposed to have in the truck, otherwise you're going to get zinged.”

Annotate, annotate, annotate

DeLorenzo emphasized multiple times the importance of annotating the ELD hours of service record to indicate problems or extenuating circumstances.

“When something goes wrong on a paper log the driver makes a note on the paper log. The ELD has that exact same capability, and I really encourage you to make sure your drivers are trained on how to use it and they do use it. Because circumstances come up. Don't just make an edit; make an edit and an annotation so it's clear what happened. Those notes will be there for you and your company and for enforcement as well.”

For instance, DeLorenzo said, one way to handle yard moves is to do nothing at the time of the yard move. The driver will get in and be presented with this list of unassigned miles and asked are they are his. “The driver rejects these miles, and you address it by annotating on the back end.”

A fleet from Wyoming asked about what happens if you’re caught in an unexpected snowstorm. DeLorenzo pointed to the part of the 11-hour driving rule allowing an extra two hours for unforeseen adverse driving conditions. I empathize I the words unforeseen. Traffic in DC at 5:00, not unforeseen. A pop up snowstorm in Wyoming, unforeseen. But i would add, with ELDs, that's an opportune time when you would annotate.”

Non-compliant ELDs

There has been concern that with the large number of new entrants into the marketplace, and the fact that the process to become listed on the FMCSA’s ELD website is a matter of self-certification, that it’s possible some fleets might get stuck in a tough situation if they chose an ELD later found to not be compliant with the ELD required specifications.

According to the rules, carriers would only have eight days to replace a device that the agency had de-certified. But DeLorenzo and Mooney seemed to indicate that they are well aware of the situation and that their focus would not be on putting fleets into that type of situation.

When asked if roadside inspectors will be looking to find non compliant devices, Mooney said, “We are not encouraging that. We want to focus on hours of service compliance.” As DeLorenzo added, “If [the ELD is] on the registered devices list, then they kind of move on.”

If there is an issue with an ELD, DeLorenzo said, most of the time those are software issues and FMCSA works with the vendor to get it straightened out, often without customers even realizing it. “As long as we’re getting hours of service information, we’re probably not going to bother the motor farrier while we get things straightened out with the vendor.”

If there’s a worst case scenario where FMCSA is unable to get it straightened out, DeLorenzo indicated that the agency is aware that switching an entire fleet to a different ELD within the eight-day window would be a nightmare and that it would work with the carrier on a solution. If that comes up, he said, “we will do that on a case by case basis. Those we’ll handle as they come up.”

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 I barely use Paper...why the hell would I use E log?

 

When Im tired I sleep when Im awake I drive or do as I feel...Seams like a lot of over complication to me.

a5086d21a08a7adef2c4b45863cd8d62.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Lmackattack said:

 I barely use Paper...why the hell would I use E log?

 

When Im tired I sleep when Im awake I drive or do as I feel...Seams like a lot of over complication to me.

a5086d21a08a7adef2c4b45863cd8d62.jpg

:D:clap:   best i`seen yet

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Latest exemption lets truckers change duty status via mobile ELD

Greg Grisolano, Land Line (OOIDA)  /  October 20, 2017

The latest exemption to the electronic logging mandate will allow drivers who use a mobile device-based ELD to change their duty status outside of or away from their vehicles.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted the waiver request filed by Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, according to documents filed Friday in the Federal Register.

Per the agency’s ruling, the exemption will apply to all carriers, not just UPS. Drivers using a portable, driver-based ELD will be allowed to change their duty status outside of the truck as long as the driver annotates the ELD record to indicate the appropriate duty status. The exemption has been granted for five years and expires Oct. 20, 2022.

UPS applied for exemptions from various parts of the ELD mandate, including the portion that requires an ELD to automatically record certain data elements upon a duty-status change when the driver is not in the vehicle. Any time the driver is in the truck with the engine on, the portable ELD will still be required to automatically record change of duty status and logins or logouts.

The agency also granted a second waiver for all carriers, allowing them to perform multiple “yard moves” without having to re-enter “yard move” every time the tractor is powered off, thus reducing the number of inputs a driver has to make if they are moving trucks around a yard all day.

“In granting these blanket exemptions, FMCSA has addressed just a couple of the inconsistencies from the final ELD rulemaking,” said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s manager of federal affairs. “Unfortunately, many more issues, such as self-certification and cybersecurity, remain unresolved as the Dec. 18 implementation date nears closer. These problems must be fixed by the agency or else the industry, especially small-business truckers, will be forced to deal with the negative consequences of another one-size-fits-all mandate.”

In addition to the exemptions, FMCSA clarified two other parts of UPS’ exemption request. The clarifications state that fleets using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices that have been grandfathered into the ELD mandate until December 2019 may install the same AOBRD in a replacement vehicle after the Dec. 18 deadline. However, newly purchased and installed AOBRDs after the December 2017 deadline will not be grandfathered into exemption.

The agency also clarified that so-called “wash and fuel” employees who only drive trucks on company property and do not drive on public roads are exempt from hours-of-service regulations and do not require ELDs.

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58 minutes ago, Lmackattack said:

 I barely use Paper...why the hell would I use E log?

When Im tired I sleep when Im awake I drive or do as I feel...Seams like a lot of over complication to me.

In the old days, there was one bad driver per hundred. Now there are, I hate to say how many, per hundred.

And as a result, we nowadays constantly see this..............http://wspa.com/2017/10/21/tractor-trailer-hits-bridge-guardrail-on-i-85-in-oconee-co/

 

 

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B42, Perhaps the E logs inception is a lobbied for,attempt for the major truckload carriers to rid themselves of the last of the experienced drivers that are such a thorn in their side! With auto brake, lane keeping technology and computer shifted (but gear driven) trannys that get as good or better mileage than manually shifted ones, the need for "real" drivers who drive defensively and know how to shift for best fuel economy is reduced,since these drivers are aware of all the "games" companies play to reduce their income loading by wage rate,the "double dispatch" to make sure a critical load is covered which leaves the second driver without a load or income etc! Just sayin'

 

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27 minutes ago, BillyT said:

B42, Perhaps the E logs inception is a lobbied for,attempt for the major truckload carriers to rid themselves of the last of the experienced drivers that are such a thorn in their side! With auto brake, lane keeping technology and computer shifted (but gear driven) trannys that get as good or better mileage than manually shifted ones, the need for "real" drivers who drive defensively and know how to shift for best fuel economy is reduced,since these drivers are aware of all the "games" companies play to reduce their income loading by wage rate,the "double dispatch" to make sure a critical load is covered which leaves the second driver without a load or income etc! Just sayin'

 

Billy T, 

You have made some excellent points.  I hadn't looked at the issue from that perspective but it is no different than forcing "early retirement" on a long term employee who is an asset to the company so the bottom line on a balance sheet looks more favorable since his inexperienced replacement is paid a much lower salary.  Just happened to a friend of mine.

I do not want to give the impression that I think I am God's gift to the transportation industry; however in the past 42 years of earning a living in the cab of a truck I am the first to admit that I have survived  some  "errors in judgement" and have made it a point to learn from the experience and not repeat them.  That cannot be legislated or replaced by technology no matter how the powers that be frame it "in the interest of safety" (in my humble opinion). 

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On 10/22/2017 at 4:39 PM, B-42 said:

My solution to the ELD controversy can be seen in the trucks for sale section of BMT.  There are other factors that led to this decision but the Dec. 18th deadline  is the one that clinched it.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had enough.

I’ve had enough but unfortunately I have another 31 years until I’m 67. I’d love to go do something else but it’s hard to give up a great paying job with bennies even if I don’t like it. Just the thought of starting at the bottom again is what keeps me from quitting...for now.  

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